This new year, as children head back to school, we are reminded of our responsibility to create happier, healthier young South Africans.
That is why we are launching a series of educational cartoons aimed at South African youth, in which we will take serious subject matters and present them in simple ways that young people can understand.
We will be discussing many of the issues that we devoted our social media platforms to in 2021. These issues are close to our heart, and we believe key to creating a better life for South Africans. We are going to step up efforts around making a difference, creating conversation, and offering more support around such issues, rather than forgetting them and letting them fall by the wayside in 2022.
These topics include financial fitness, as first explored in our October 2021 #FinanceFitSA content; #MentalHealthAwareness, an important and often overlooked area of health that we are committed to supporting; leading up to and most importantly of all, the continued battle against gender-based violence in all its forms.
While we rightfully dedicated November 2021 to the #HearHerVoice campaign in solidarity with our annual #16DaysOfActivism against GBV (Gender Based Violence), this year we intend to take this cause further and beyond just one gazette period annually.
You can expect to see cartoons focusing on these three subjects, which we believe have an impact on the lives of all young South Africans. We will be publishing cartoons on aspects of financial fitness such as saving, budgeting and making money; ones focused on various aspects of mental health that may be relevant to young people especially off the back of Matric results being released; and ones focused on highlighting issues linked to GBV in a way that is accessible to children and young adults.
Can we create a better tomorrow by working towards empowering young people to be healthier, happier and more successful?
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As we come out of Dezemba and take off the rose-coloured glasses, we see January with much needed clarity. The new year can signify a fresh start, new opportunities and promises for many, but we also know that it can be an anxiety- and uncertainty-prone time that often also results in increased mental health challenges under financial pressure. Many factors can contribute to this, e.g. looming matric results that have, in the past, caused anxiety amongst teenagers who may not have supportive families and access to adequate mental health facilities.
There is a lot to be grateful for still, so risk optimism !
To realise a joy-filled 2022, free of financial, mental and health worries, we have to make changes, and this may require us to change ourselves because how we get into sticky and undesirable situations is not how we are going to get out of them, but where do we even start, and how can we also extend help to others? Through information. The answer lies in knowing exactly where you are.
How often do you ask yourself how you are really doing? There is no better time than at the beginning of a new year to pat yourself on the back for how far you have come and reflect on how you can influence and manifest a greater and more fulfilling next phase.
First up, know your money post Dezemba
It is Standard Bank’s hope that the #FinanceFitSA tips over the summer period have assisted you in remaining Januworry free. Start by accurately assessing your financial status; this exercise alone can be daunting as you confront your financial habits, but it is an important step that must be undertaken with kindness towards self. It will alleviate anxiety too, so ask yourself simple questions such as:
Did I stick to my budget in December?
If not, what is the difference?
With the balance in my bank account right now, will I realistically afford the remaining monthly expenses?
If you are a parent, what financial commitment is needed towards back-to-school needs?
Second, and just as fundamental, ‘are the kids alright?’
As you know, the bundles of joy in your life can come with their own bundles of expenses. How are you doing? There’s stationery, orientation caps etc. It’s a lot, but you have planned well, and it’s time to reap the rewards of your savings.
Often parents get bogged down with survival mode and taking care of ‘basics’ that we may forget that we are raising real humans. The new year can be filled with all kinds of pressures for growing children. While adults make logical decisions to move house, move cities, change schools etc, we may forget that experience allows us to adjust to change with ease; it can feel like the whole world has been turned upside down by a simple change for a teenager. Making new friends, changing uniform and even new hair rules are a big deal for them.
Check in with your children, talk them through your decisions and make an effort to create excitement around change. It is important that they feel considered and safe. Here are suggested questions and discussion points when communicating change to your children:
Emphasise their importance. ‘We’ve/I’ve thought about how this will impact you…’
How do you feel about this?
What do you think?
How can I help you adjust to the change?
More than 700k South African children wrote their final matric exams in December. With the much-anticipated results, it is the job of the parents and support structures to support the matriculants regardless of results. Creating an environment conducive to happy children builds a healthier future nation. Importantly, we need to keep assessing our readiness for them to start their post basic-education career. Standard Bank has student financial aid tools to assist you in this regard.
Third, and lastly, how is your health and the health of your family?
Did you overdo it in December? Don’t be too hard on yourself; exercise remains a way for us to see how very cable our bodies are to do extraordinary things. Be thankful for a healthy body and do better.
Start with facts, whether it is getting on that scale or using your favourite pair of jeans to assess where you are. It is true that many people neglect their new year’s resolutions by March or even earlier, but it is equally true and proven to work for a lot more people. We encourage you to use this fresh start to write down new fitness goals for yourself, and you can do it with family and/or friends. Accountability buddies in habit building go a long way.
January can indeed be all a medley of experiences and feelings, and awareness of your financial, mental and physical wellness can be catalytic to an amazing 2022.
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While some may consider insurance to be a grudge purchase, it is important to protect your assets and belongings. Whether you need to cover your car, home or household contents, it is vital to understand the terms of your specific insurance policy to avoid any disputes over potential claims.
Here are a few tips to keep your valuables covered:
Buying a car is no small feat, so to ensure that your car is fully covered, do the following:
Make sure that the regular driver, i.e. the person who drives the insured vehicle most often in any given period, is listed on the policy as the regular driver. This is important as the premium is calculated on the risk details of the regular driver.
Specify vehicle accessories or extras that are not standard or factory-fitted, such as roof carriers, canopies and smash-and-grab coating. You may need to pay a separate premium in order for these items to be covered by your policy.
Insure your vehicle for the correct amount. It is your responsibility to update your policy regularly as the value of your vehicle depreciates over time.
Insure your vehicle for the correct class of use; i.e. if your vehicle is used for commercial purposes or to generate business, it must be insured under a commercial insurance policy and not a personal lines policy. Gig work such as Uber or Bolt usage is regarded as commercial use.
For homeowners, keep your most valuable asset protected by doing the following:
Insure your property for the current replacement value, i.e. the cost of rebuilding the entire property and its outbuildings, including removal of debris, architecture and municipal costs.
Do not forget regular maintenance such as cleaning your gutters to avoid debris build-up which may result in water damage to ceilings and other damages.
Regularly inspect wiring to identify faulty or substandard wiring. During a storm, unplug all electronic equipment. Using surge protectors may be beneficial under these circumstances.
Ensure your pets are kept safely on the property to avoid injuries to others outside your home or when you receive visitors. Personal liability expenses can become costly.
To protect your valuable home contents in the event of loss or damage, do the following:
List all of your household contents such as clothing, furniture, tools and electronic devices to ensure that you are covered adequately.
Make sure that your household contents and all moveable items are insured for the current replacement value, i.e. current cost to replace such items, as insurance replaces old items with new items when a loss occurs.
Have the right type of cover for specific items. For example, if you require accidental damage cover, make sure that it is included in your policy.
Specify all items taken out of the property or worn on yourself such as cell phones, jewellery and sporting equipment under the all-risks section of the policy in order to be fully covered.
Lastly, if you have all-risks insurance cover, make sure you do the following:
Keep proofs of purchase in a safe place as you will need them if you claim for specific items.
Evaluate your home contents regularly to ensure they are adequately covered.
Follow these tips and save yourself the time and cost of having to repair or replace your car, home or household valuables yourself.
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Standard Bank Insurance Brokers (Pty) Ltd (Reg. No. 1978/002640/07) is an authorised financial services provider (FSP 224) and part of the Standard Bank Group.
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